How Do You Properly Use a Lathe?


Quick Answer

To properly use a lathe, understand how to set the machine's operating speed, cutting depth and sending speed, as well as when to use the various types of cutting tools. Never keep a chuck handle attached by the chuck because it can dangerously fly off as soon as the lathe turns.

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Full Answer

A lathe's rotating speed determines the number of rotations of the chuck. The processing speed is quicker, and a surface is more finely finished, when the setting is high. The cutting depth of a lathe alters the processing speed and the roughness of the surface; a large cutting depth leads to a quick processing speed, but raises the surface temperature and makes the surface rough. A lathe's sending speed also influences the processing speed and the roughness of the surface; a low sending speed gives the surface a smooth finish.

For safety reasons, beginners should operate a lathe using a low rotating speed, a small cutting depth and a low sending speed. A side tool is the most common cutting tool and cuts exterior or edge surfaces. A cutting-off tool is used for parting and grooving processes. The boring bar is the cutting tool for cutting on an interior surface.

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